Ask The Advice Pedaler: Etiquette for the Conscientious Cyclist

Dear Advice Pedaler: I'm a big fan of your column and I recently found an opportunity to put your advice to use. As per your last column, I said "Hi!" to a cute cyclist I frequently pass en route to work. My question is this: What is your patented, failure-proof second line? -I'm not sure if it worked

Dear Not Sure: It always brings a tear to the Advice Pedaler's eye when she hears that the bicycle has, once again, brought people together. However, Gentle Rider, the second line lies solely in your hands! The Advice Pedaler thinks that bicycles are excellent conversation pieces. Approach the cute cyclist with conversation about biking, and when the time is right, suggest continuing the conversation away from the din of traffic.

Dear Advice Pedaler: I'm sure I'm the only cyclist in SF who doesn't know, but what is the exact route of the Wiggle? While I'm writing, I want to mention another problem. I'm a slow cyclist, and only one in twenty cyclists ever says "passing" when passing me. Do I carry a squirt gun to wake these idiots up to manners? -Wiggly

Dear Wiggly: The Advice Pedaler agrees that passing without calling out can be dangerous. As for squirting them or calling them idiots, the Advice Pedaler wishes cyclists would save their vitriol for public officials who ignore bikes. Imagine instead that you are putting yourself in the role of enforcer of a code that these other cyclists are simply unaware of. The next time this happens, try a friendly "On your right!"

As to the Wiggle, many cyclists don't know the "exact" route, because the Wiggle is any flat route between Duboce and the Panhandle—there are as many variations as there are cyclists in San Francisco. But if you refer to the SF Bike Map and Walking Guide you'll see that the Wiggle most closely follows route #30. If you don't have a copy of the map, it's available for free by calling 585-BIKE or online at www.sfbike.org/biking_resources/maps/. We're also working on a map of the Wiggle that will be posted on www.sfbike.org at the end of April, so keep checking!